Group finds recovery

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:07

    MILFORD - The young man looked away as he spoke, telling how he grew up essentially fatherless with a feeling of worthlessness and that it really messed him up. Ed...that isn’t his real name...was giving his testimony, a rite of passage at Celebrate Recovery, a new local support group. Looking like someone expelling a foreign substance from his body with the telling, Ed’s face contorted as he spoke of an unhealthy obsession with women that had him following them around in stores, pouring through mens’ magazines and movies, collecting photographs and “wasting my life.” “If Celebrate Recovery stopped tomorrow, it would have been worthwhile to do, just for his sake,” said Brian Oakley of Ed’s progress. Oakley is one of the principal coordinators of the Celebrate Recovery group that has been meeting at the Milford Bible Church every Friday night since December. Rick Warren, a California minister and author developed the program in 1991. Oakley said some 3,800 churches across the county now host the program. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, it is a step program, but unlike AA, it based in religion, “the spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ,” as Warren writes on the program website. There are basic lessons for beginners and after several primer lessons, participants go into small groups where they can talk out the most intimate of “hurt, hang-ups or habit,” program literature states. “Confidentiality and being non-judgemental of others are big issues with us,” Oakley said. Oakley, who admits he struggles with substance and alcohol abuse, said small same-sex groups are formed with a leader, who has dealt with a given problem. However, the program emphasizes that it is not therapy, but a place for mutual support to help people find answers and take responsibility for themselves again. About 80 people attend regularly and other programs have begun locally in Beach Lake and Middletown, N.Y. The first hour, beginning at 7 p.m., is open to all. For more information visit .